1. The present contempt petition has been filed by the petitioner for taking action against the respondents for initiating criminal contempt proceedings under Section 19 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 read with Section 15 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 for willful disobedience of the order dated 21.10.2011 of this Tribunal.
2. Briefly stated the facts leading to the filing of the present application for initiating contempt proceedings against the respondents are that the petitioner had filed a Criminal Writ Petition No. 465 of 2002 against the respondents for issuance of a writ in the nature of Certiorari for setting aside the findings of the Summary Court Martial and quashing the sentence awarded by the Court at Annexures P-2 and P-3 and prayer for an order for reinstatement of the petitioner into service with all consequential benefits. The said writ petition was subsequently registered as TA NO. 463 of 2010 and was allowed by a Bench of this Tribunal vide order dated 21.10.2011. The following order was passed by the Tribunal:-
œWe, therefore, allow this application, set aside the impugned order of conviction and sentence passed by the Summary Court Martial and subsequent confirmation by the high authority and the case is remanded to the respondent authority to hold a fresh trial of the petitioner by appropriate Court Martial in accordance with law. The Court Martial proceedings must be concluded within six months from the date of receipt of this order.?
3. The petitioner filed the present contempt petition for taking against the respondents for willful disobedience of the orders passed by the Tribunal dated 21.10.2011. In paragraph No.6 of the petition the petitioner alleged that he had filed MA No. 809 of 2012 seeking execution of the order dated 21.10.2011 of this Tribunal which is still pending and is now listed for 28.11.2013. It was further alleged that no reply has been filed in the aforesaid M.A for the last more than one year.
4. It is, therefore, clear that an application for execution of the order of this Tribunal has already been filed by the petitioner and has not been disposed of so far. There is nothing on record to suggest as to whether the respondents have complied with the order or the Tribunal or not since they have not filed the reply till date and the matter was listed for 28.11.2013. However, the present application was filed by the petitioner on 07.08.2013 for taking contempt action though the reply was yet to be filed and the case was yet to be listed for hearing on 28.11.2013.
5. The present application, therefore, can be said to be premature since it is not clear to this Court as to whether the reply has been filed and the order has been complied with by the respondents or not.
6. It has also to be considered as to whether the respondents No.1 to 4 named in the petition were presently responsible for compliance of the order in their official capacity and as to whether the orders were conveyed to them and they had failed to comply with the order. The names of the respondents were not mentioned as to who were the respondents in the main petition filed by the petitioner. The names of the respondents also do not find mention in the list of the respondents in the order dated 21.10.2013 which fact has been determined from the record of the main case summoned. However, in the memorandum of parties in the original writ petition, the following persons were pleaded as respondents:-
i) Union of India through the Secretary to the Govt. of India, Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India, South Block, New Delhi-110001;
ii) GOC-IN-C, Headquarter, Western Command, Chandimandir;
iii) GOC, EME, Jalandhar Cantt; and
iv) Commanding Officer, 7011 EME B. C/O 56 A.P.O.
7. It is, therefore, clear that the order was passed as against the above named respondents and the present contempt petition is being filed as against the present respondents namely:-
i) Sh. R.K.Mathur, IAS, Secretary to Govt. of India, Ministry of Defence, South Block, New Delhi-110001.
ii) Lt. Gen. Phillip Compose, AVSN,VSM, GOC-IN-C, HQ, Western Command, Chandimandir;
iii) Lt. Gen. A.K.Bakshi, SM, VSM, GOC, EME (Corps Cdr.), Jalandhar Cantt; and
iv) Col. Ashim Kalra, Commanding Officer, 7011, EME BTN, C/o 56 APO.
8. It is, therefore, clear that the petition was allowed as against the respondents named in paragraph No.6 above and the present proceedings for contempt are being sought against the persons named in paragraph No.7 above. It has to be specifically alleged by the petitioner that the original petition was against the four respondents mentioned in paragraph No.6 who had failed to comply with the order passed in favour of the petitioner.
9. The proceedings for contempt are to be initiated against an individual and not against a person holding an office and it has to be specifically alleged that the person named in the contempt petition was bound to comply with the order, had failed to comply with the order and was holding the office at the relevant time. In the absence of these allegations no action can be taken against the respondents named in paragraph No.7 above for having failed to comply with the order and committing contempt of the Court.
10. The contempt application, therefore, appears to be pre-mature and is not specific in giving the necessary particulars, therefore, no notice can be issued to the respondents and the present contempt petition is liable to be dismissed accordingly. The petitioner is at liberty to invoke the above provisions at an appropriate time by giving necessary particulars as required by law. The present petition is, accordingly, dismissed.